Marching Through a Busy Month for Bed Lovers

National Bed Month

We’ve so much to talk about this month. Not only is March National Bed Month, with the month in its entirety devoted to the subject of sleep.  There’s also World Book Day, World Sleep Day, Mother’s Day and our clocks will spring forward for Daylight Saving.  It’s certainly a time to reflect on relaxation, sleep and creating a lovely bedroom sanctuary to enjoy.

We’ve picked out the key dates below and made some suggestions on how to make the most of them.

National Bed Month 1st – 31st March

31 whole days dedicated to discussing our favourite topic!  We love getting involved in the conversation about beds, bedding and how to sleep better, so head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages to join in.

This is also a great season to invest in bed linens that’ll freshen up homes with a new spring look.  Plus the weather is  unpredictable at this time of year too. Adding a throw to your bed will inject a punch of colour and give your more versatility in terms of keeping your body at the right temperature when it gets cool at night.

Throw Collage

Read more about National Bed Month and find some great ideas on sleeping well at the Sleep Council’s website.

World Book Day, Thursday 2nd March

Reading a bedtime story to your children creates so many special memories. It can develop speech and confidence and instil a love of books from a very early age. To celebrate this special day, we’ve picked out 10 of our favourite stories to read aloud:

  1. Peepo, Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  2. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
  3. Lost and Found, Oliver Jeffers
  4. Paper Dolls, Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb
  5. Mister Magnolia, Quentin Blake
  6. Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, Lynley Dodd
  7. Stick Man, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
  8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  9. Meg and Mog, Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski
  10. Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell

Friday 17th March World Sleep Day

A day when the entire world focuses on optimising its sleep and the benefits this can have on the body and mind. Find out more here.

Sunday 26th March – Mother’s Day

Why not treat your mum to a lovely lie in, followed by breakfast in bed this Mothering Sunday?  And if you’re stuck on ideas for a gift we’ve put together our favourite present ideas that we know she’ll treasure – here.

Sunday 26th March (1am) – Daylight Saving

A bitter sweet moment in the annual calendar that signifies summer is on its way (but steals an hour of our sleep!) See our sleep tips to help you adjust to the lighter nights and warmer weather below:

Sound Sleep Tips for Summertime:

  • Change to a lighter weight duvet with a lower tog rating. Browse our summer duvets here.
  • Use natural fabrics that will draw moisture away from the body and regulate temperature.
  • Introduce blackout blinds to trick the body into getting ready for sleep
  • Alpaca Wool is hypoallergenic and can curb the effects of common allergies that are prevalent in summertime
  • Wash bedding once a week to remove allergens and microbes that can increase in warmer temperatures

Make Mum’s Day with a Gift from The Fine Cotton Company

Mother's Day Text

There are many reasons to be thankful to our mums, along with all the maternal ladies in our lives, so with Mother’s Day fast approaching (Sunday 26th March), we’ve picked out our favourite gift ideas to let those special ladies know how much they’re appreciated.

Mum’s Dressing Gown
Mum Dressing Gown

Wrap mum in comfort this Mothering Sunday with an indulgent pure cotton robe.  Our generously sized robes, with shawl collar and deep turn back cuffs are seriously decadent.  They can be customised with embroidered lettering (up to 12 letters) on the chest or the centre back. Choose from a variety of styles and 12 different thread colours.

Soft and Sumptuous Throws (now available in a NEW longer length)

Pink Collage

Splash out on a responsibly-sourced and silky-smooth cashmere feel Lambswool/angora or Lambswool throw. They’re the ultimate luxury treat for a special mum or gran and can be used all year round.  In fact they’re brilliant to take on holiday as the new, longer length throws are the perfect remedy to over-zealous air conditioning on the plane.  Browse our luxurious blankets and throws

Personalised slippers

MONOGRAMMED SLIPPERS

These organic cotton Tivoli Monogrammed Wrap Over Slippers can be personalised with an embroidered letter or name so mum will never lose her slippers again.

 

Get Ready for Love with Three Easy Bedrooms Updates

MADISON PORTLAND GREY CAMEOS (2)

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Couple that fact with Fifty Shades Darker debuting in cinemas and it means there’s just one room for loved-up homeowners to focus their attentions on this week – THE BEDROOM.

Transform the master suite into a luxurious passion-inducing boudoir with these quick and easy bedroom updates.

Snuggle Down Under Sensuous Throws in this Season’s Hottest Shades

Ramp up the romance with soft, tactile throws in hot cerise and fuchsia hues that’ll leave you tickled pink.  Layer them up for a look that’s cosy, inviting and guaranteed to set pulses racing. Or create your own ‘red room’ with a vivacious, scarlet Angora blanket.

Pink Collage
Shop our Manhattan lambswool throwMonaco Lambswool and Angora or Rydal Lambswool throws now!

Indulge in Glamorous GREY Linens

If Fifty Shades Darker has left you yearning to be swept up in the millionaire lifestyle, then why not invest in some custom-made pure cotton linens?

Our bespoke bedding can be uniquely finished to your own style, plus it’s so soft and luxurious you’ll never want to leave the bedroom.   And, according to Jane Robson, Founder of the Fine Cotton Company, grey is ever-popular.

Grey Collage

Jane says, “When it comes to embroidered finishes on bedding, we’re finding that grey is still the colour of choice for lots of our customers, but just like the film, it’s time to go a shade darker for an on-trend look.  The Portland bedding pictured above is exquisitely finished with embroidered bands of deep charcoal, it’s our top pick for 2017. 

“Accessorise with coordinated robes, towels and pillows for a luxe edge.”

Prevent Steamy Windows with Thermal Roller Blinds

If you’ve been inspired by Christian and Anastasia’s on screen antics, then introducing temperature control blinds will help to cool the atmosphere as it heats up in the bedroom.

A solar protective coating applied to the window side of the blinds will keep the temperature on an even keel, even when it’s sizzling hot inside.  Blackout options will help to set the mood no matter the time of day. Plus blinds can also help to block sound – a handy tip to save on blushes when you next see the neighbours.

Spring Cleaning Tips

Expert ideas to keep homes tidy, linens white and towels fluffy

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Jane Robson, founder of The Fine Cotton Company and all-round expert in everything relating to home linens, offers top tips on how to clean bedding and towels to keep whites white and towels super fluffy – plus she has great laundry bags for making washing a pleasure not a chore.

Keep Whites White

Wash regularly at 60 degrees to limit the build-up of dirt and detergent that will dull whites over time. Be exact when measuring laundry cleaner, too much will cause a build-up of product and too little won’t clean the clothes thoroughly. A biological detergent should also help to banish the yellow or grey tinge and make whites brilliant again.

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To bring a new lease of life to whites that have lost their sparkle try including half a cup of white wine vinegar in with the wash.  It’s a wonderful cleaning agent as the high acidity levels are naturally anti-bacterial, this neutralises odours and dissolves residual product.

For crisp white bed linen, our Biarritz 320TC Cotton Percale Bed Linen Collection is a sophisticated choice. at www.thefinecottoncompany.com

Ensure Towels Stay Soft and Fluffy

A damp, used towel is full of dead skin cells and micro-organisms, so when left to dry in a moist, warm bathroom environment this makes a lovely home for bacteria to breed in.

As people tend to have different personal hygiene habits, rather than talking in weekly or daily terms, it’s generally it’s accepted that towels should be washed after they’ve been used three times – that’s providing they can be dried thoroughly in between washes.

Any odour at all indicates the presence of microbes so that’s also a very good sign that towels could do with a spruce.

Wash at a minimum of 60 degrees to kill bacteria and go easy on the detergent and softener – far from making towels soft and fluffy, it’s a build-up of these products that can make towels start to feel matted, stiff and scratchy.

Replacing softener with vinegar or baking soda will strip away odours and can help to restore the soft and fluffy feel of your towels, along with increasing their absorbency.

It also pays not to overload the washing machine and tumble drier as allowing space for air to circulate will ensure the fabric fibres don’t become squashed and matted.  That said, too much tumble drying can also take its toll, so it’s perhaps best to try and alternate between air drying and tumble drying.”

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Como Organic Cotton Towels

Investing in a quality products will ensure towels stay softer for longer. A collection of thick and super absorbent white towels such as these Como Organic Cotton Towels from The Fine Cotton Company are manufactured from fully combed 700 gram organic cotton will feel as good as new wash after wash.

Weekly Washing For Bed Sheets

Bed sheets should be washed on a weekly basis at a minimum temperature of 60 degrees Celsius in order to destroy micro-organisms and other nasties that may be living in our linens.  Fresh air and sunlight is also a very effective way of killing germs, although it’s not always possible given the UK’s unpredictable weather, so running a hot iron over sheets and pillow cases will ensure any leftover bacteria is destroyed.

Good quality natural materials won’t fade or wear with washing so they can be laundered weekly at high temperatures and it won’t stop them from looking their best. All of our bedding is washable at 60 degrees – the temperature that kills dust mites and bacteria.

And finally, make washing a pleasure not a chore

Personalised laundry bags will help all members of the family take charge of their laundry and hopefully limit the need to search under beds for stray socks and shirts.

Any of our laundry and shoe bags can be customised with up to 10 letters for a name or perhaps the uber-organised among us could label them with ‘darks’, ‘whites’ and ‘colours’ so the laundry is sorted before it gets to the washer.

These adorable owl storage hampers can be personalised to encourage little ones to tidy up after themselves.

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Christmas Eve Traditions to Start This Year

With four sleeps to go, we’re sure the cards are written, the presents are wrapped, the food is ordered and you’re free to relax before the big day (ahem).   We’re probably all guilty of getting swept up in the Christmas chaos without stopping to enjoy the festivities.  So here are some fun ideas for Christmas Eve to help you to de-stress, make the most of family time and create special memories for years to come.

kids-playing-in-front-of-christmas-tree

Change Your Bedding on Christmas Eve

There’s nothing like clean sheets to give you a fuzzy, feel good feeling. It may sound like ANOTHER thing to do on the busiest day of the year, but if you spend 20 minutes in the morning changing bedding over to freshly washed sheets and pillow cases, you’ll reap the rewards when you finally flop into bed.  Add a cosy cashmere or faux fur throw as an extra festive treat.

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Open a Christmas Eve Box 

This lovely tradition is growing amongst UK families and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Pack festive pyjamas, a favourite Christmas film, hot chocolate, hot water bottles and cosy blankets into a festive box and unwrap them on Christmas Eve.  Then snuggle down for a movie night together.  Sheer bliss.

Make it a Time for Giving

Why not spare a thought for those who are less fortunate this Christmas time?  There are lots of easy ways to get involved in charity work or even just let somebody know you care. Most supermarkets will have the facility to donate food or an extra gift as you shop.  You could give time to a homeless charity, bake some cookies and deliver them to an elderly neighbour or even invite them round for dinner. Christmas is a time for giving after all.

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Attend a Christingle or Carol Service

Even if you’re not religious, attending a Christingle or Carol Service on Christmas Eve is a lovely way to set the mood for the big day.

Bedtime Customs

With all the excitement, getting the little ones into bed on Christmas Eve can be a struggle, so set some traditions that will help to signify that it’s time to get tucked up ready for Father Christmas to visit.

Prepare by tracking Santa via noradsanta.org to show that he’s on his way. As well as the traditional carrot and glass of milk, try making some reindeer food (glitter and oatmeal) to scatter in the garden, hang the stockings and then cuddle up to read a Christmas story to create calm before they drop off to sleep.

Merry Christmas from all at The Fine Cotton Company

Chalet Chic

portetta-lodges

There’s nothing like heading back to a cosy chalet after a day on the slopes to relax and enjoy a little apres-ski.  More and more skiers are pushing their budgets to enjoy luxurious five star chalet retreats with interiors that can outshine even the most expensive of hotels. And it’s inspiring a wave of homeowners, eager to recreate that luxe ‘log cabin’ environment in homes, especially as we head into winter.

portetta-interiors

With some of the finest lodges in Europe, including Portetta, Courcheval (pictured above), amongst our clients, we’re enamoured with the ‘chalet chic’ style at The Fine Cotton Company. So we’ve put together our guide on how to achieve a cosy, multi-sensory room in your own home.

Use nature as your muse

Nature’s forms run through the DNA of a chalet chic interior. It’s a look ideally suited to cottages or barn conversions where exposed beams and stone floors make up the internal structure of the room, but can equally be achieved with accessories and simple touches that fully immerse homeowners in the high-end ski lodge experience.

Stack logs in a fireplace or a knitted log basket and pile up tactile fabrics like faux fur to introduce tonal variety and texture to the room.

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Checked Throws                                  Faux Fur Throws

A palette of soft, neutral colours that take their inspiration straight from the slopes are pleasing to the eye and will create a cosy atmosphere.  Colour selections should have a warm undertone; team brown, cream and caramel with a warm blue such as the Dulux colour of the year, Denim Drift.

The stag has been a perennial mainstay in interiors for many years and it’s certainly the animal of choice within this scheme. Consider more unusual ways of introducing the deer motif with playful book ends, wall-mounted antlers or antler chandelier, or a hot water bottle to further add to that cosy feel.

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Stag Hot Water Bottle                          Book ends

Don’t neglect the sense of smell

Tease the senses with delicious winter scents of wood, smoke and pine forest. There are lots of diffusers and candles on the market, but for a more authentic, festive fragrance try adding alternative kindling such as cherry wood or cedar to a wood-burning stove.

Get the lighting and the heating right

Guests should feel warm and welcome immediately as they enter the chalet inspired living space. If a log burner or open fire is still on the wish list rather than a reality, candles will help to achieve the look. Banish the ‘big light’ and opt for atmospheric fairy lights, lamps and drop pendants. And don’t skimp on the heating – shivering in the cold is not an option.

Add a touch of alpine glamour

Chalet chic should never be dull. Elevate a scheme from ordinary to fabulous with the addition of a little unanticipated alpine glamour. Achieve that luxe feel with metallic scatter cushions nestled  amongst fur, add crystal touches or to make a real statement, an elaborate chandelier juxtaposed against natural forms and textures will make for a dazzling focal point and add atmosphere by reflecting light around the room.

Tongue-in-cheek ski chic

This look doesn’t need to take itself too seriously, in fact, adding some funky accessories will add to the endorphin-inducing experience.  Have some fun with a kitsch fondue set or traditional board games, casually strew some ski magazines across the coffee table or take the plunge into chalet lifestyle with a hot tub in the garden.

Time to Hibernate

Five of the Best Natural Materials to Bed Down in this Winter

Happy family concept. Feet of father, mother and four children in colorful knitted socks on white bed. Family sleeping together.

Winter should be filled with long blissful walks on a crisp day, followed by a  roast dinner and cuddling up beside a roaring log fire.  When it’s cold outside there’s no better time to create a snug and comforting sleep sanctuary inside; somewhere to hide away from the winter chill.  And we always choose natural and organic materials to stay cosy. They’re far superior to synthetics in terms of how they affect the body during sleep.  Natural fibres and fillings such as cotton, goose down, silk and flannelette will actually help to regulate your body temperature as you sleep, keeping you warm in winter and cool in the summer.  They’re also breathable and allow ventilation that draws moisture away, which makes for a more comfortable night’s sleep.

Here’s our pick of the top five:

Flannelette

A chic and snug option for winter bedding, flannelette is currently enjoying a revival in UK homes.  Loosely spun fibres produce a fluffier texture to the fabric so it’s velvety soft to sleep on. This also has an insulating effect, traps warm air and provides extra heat for those who feel the cold. Where flannelette may appear thicker, it’s actually very light weight, plus it can be washed frequently with a reduced risk of shrinkage, so it’s ideal for children’s rooms. Like this sounds of this super soft natural fabric? Try our Stowe Brushed Organic Cotton Bed Linen

Silk

It’s advisable to opt for a higher tog duvet when temperatures tumble; a 10.5 or 13.5 tog rating will provide the extra warmth needed in the cold weather.  And it is possible to up the tog rating without feeling weighed down with a natural silk floss filling that continually adjusts to your body and the ambient temperature of the room. Silk filled duvets drape lightly over the body and are luxurious, light and thin. Try our Silk Winter Duvet.

Alpaca Wool

Alpaca fibres are naturally anti-allergic and can be used to kerb the effects of common allergies such as asthma which can worsen in winter due to the prevalence of colds and flu.  Made from hollow fibres, Alpaca wool has the same temperature regulating quality as many natural fibres.

Our Anti-Allergy Organic Alpaca Duvet Collection is handmade using unique stitching techniques for maximum airflow, this organic duvet is completely free from chemicals for a healthy, natural sleep environment.

Angora

The fluffy surface texture of Angora wool produces unrivalled luxury and softness.  It’s revered by knitters who refer to this extra fluffiness as the halo. The Angora fibre has a hollow core so it’s cosier and lighter than lambswool.

Try our Lambswool and Angora Throws – Blended with lambswool this lustrous textured Monaco throw is available in a vivid punchy pink along, soft blues, greys and cream.

Or the reversible Newbury Lambswool and Angora range gives even more options for changing up interiors.

 Goose Down

Natural down can be very lightweight.  A luxurious goose down duvet is an investment for those who love sleep without the feeling of too much weight on them – large clusters of down trap air and cover the body evenly and lightly.

Try our Supreme Hungarian Goose Down Duvet for the ultimate in sleep luxury.

 

Image Adobe Stock © Vitalinka

 

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